pasta

It is true…You are what you eat

photoToday I am sitting back and thinking about food and all the ways it has formed me in my life.  As I was growing up I was an athlete.  I was a swimmer, a diver and a dancer.  There was not a day that I was not moving and there was never a day that I was not eating.  I ate alot.  I moved alot.  I was able to burn the thousands of calories I was consuming everyday just by moving.  As I crept through school and finally made it to college I began to see the way food affected those around me.  I was in the dance department of my college and I saw so many girls starving themselves to be the perfect dancer size.  One of my friends ate carrots all day.  Yes, carrots and only carrots. I knew other girls who would eat all day then run to the bath room only to throw up the insane amount of food they had just consumed.

How are we supposed have good eating habits when we are surrounded by people who are obsessed with their body?  The magazines, film, and theater are full of people starving themselves to have what they think is the perfect body.  Food is portrayed as the enemy.  What we consume will only end up in places on our bodies that is unsightly. I am here to tell you I have been there.  I have starved myself, I have been a glutton, and none of it has been beneficial to my body. Over the years I have taken all the tests to finally find out the foods my body can tolerate.  Through that knowledge I am able to put the right food into my body to fuel it for the day.  Isn’t that was food is anyway? Fuel.  We are so obsessed with food.  We use it to satisfy not only hunger, but pain.  We use it as therapy and to socialize.  But really it is just fuel.  We don’t over fill our cars with gasoline, or never put too little oil in the engine.  The car would not run, it would have too much or not enough.  Our bodies are the same way.  Too much or too little just is not good for it.  It won’t run. We also have to look at what we put in it.  Is it the best for your specific model?  I have a friend who posts pictures of meat on the grill everyday on Facebook.  That is how his body is fueled. My body would stop running with all that meat in it.  I have a different model.  The tip is to find what your body type is and fuel it accordingly.  It doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of food, or the enjoyment of eating.  It is just finding the right brand of gasoline to rev the engine.

I did the LEAP diet about 2 years ago.  I went to my doctor and dietitian and they took my blood and tested over 100 foods to see what foods I had an intolerance to.  Then I removed the bad food and started a new way of eating.  Over the last 2 years my “Bad” foods have made their way back into my diet and I am here to tell you my engine was not running smoothly. I am so happy I have started this blog and have been back to feeding my engine with the foods that are right for me.  I stay away from the pantry and, I eat clean fresh food everyday.  I feel better and in the last 3 weeks I have lost 9 pounds. Today, I made pasta.  I was in the mood for macaroni and cheese, but since I cannot have dairy I decided to make my sauce from avocados.  It was creamy and delicious.  I used the left over chicken from Giada’s Feel Good Food, page  220.  It was a match made in heaven and I was totally satisfied with my little cup full of “mock” mac and cheese.

Macaroni with Avocado Sauce
1 bag of gluten free macaroni (I used Wegmans)
1 avocado
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 left over chicken breast, chopped (optional)

Boil water to cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, put avocado, onion, juice from 1 lime, garlic, salt and pepper in a small food processor.  Mix until smooth.  When pasta is done, pour off water and place in a large mixing bowl. Mix with avocado dressing with the pasta adding the chicken at the same time.  Toss well.  You can sprinkle chopped parsley over the top or even a bit of parm.  Enjoy!

Giada’s Whole Wheat Linguine with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Cherry Tomatoes

Good evening to all of my lovely followers! It was another Giada dinner night, with pasta from page 219 of Giada’s Feel Good Food. I know I keep saying that her recipes are easy to make, but this one really takes the cake! It only took me thirty minutes from prep to table! I’ve said this before, but there are some picky, picky eaters in this house. Tonight, my vegetarian daughter wouldn’t eat the shrimp, so I wasn’t able to mix it into the pasta. That didn’t stop me from topping it onto my own dish, though.

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There was nothing on the side tonight, but you really don’t need a side dish if you plan on filling up on pasta. Some might like a baguette to mop up the sauce, but since we’re gluten free, we opted out. This was another dish that incorporated basil and mint; I’m realizing that if I keep cooking like this, I’m going to have to invest in another mint and basil plant! I grow my own herbs on my porch, and they do so beautifully in the summertime. Even if you have a small town-home (like myself), you can pot your herbs and grow them just about anywhere outside. I know that mine always grow bigger and greener than the grocer’s. Because I grow my own herbs, I keep an herb mill around the house. It’s a super handy tool for chopping and grinding up the herbs very quickly. It should be a staple in every fresh chef’s kitchen.

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I am a huge fan of Wegman’s, have been ever since my family lived in Buffalo, New York. If you have one nearby, you should hop in there and check out their gluten free section. They have an entire line of Wegman’s brand gluten free products that are just as good as anything else I’ve tried…and they’ll save you a buck on your grocery bill! If you don’t have a Wegman’s, you should try out Trader Joe’s brand items. They have a handy little “G” symbol on the front of all of their gluten-sensitive products for an easy shopping experience. Tonight in the pasta, we used Wegman’s corn spaghetti pasta. Corn holds up well, but be sure to measure it out carefully because it doesn’t make for very good leftovers.

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In the recipe, Giada advises that you mash the tomatoes with a fork after they’re tender. I myself use a potato masher or pastry blender for this step, and any time that I have to mash veggies. Careful while you’re mashing, those tomatoes are hot, and the juices will splatter around!

It’s been three days now, and it’s amazing to me how much better I feel already. Making sure I am staying hydrated, washing my face in the morning, and doing my yoga is really starting to pay off. Imagine how good I’ll feel in three weeks! Stick around until then, and you’ll get to find out!